Somewhere over the rainbow: ease on down the road to Ben Franklin High School

News with a Twist
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NEW ORLEANS -  Who wants to just follow the yellow brick road?

Not In New Orleans, Louisiana. That's where you can ease on down the road.

Sound familiar?

How about this cast of characters: Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and a few of their singing and dancing friends are somewhere over the rainbow at Benjamin Franklin High School.

It's their production of The WizThe Wiz is the super-soul musical version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

It's been on Broadway.

It's been a movie with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.

And now, WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood wants you to know as he saves a front row seat just for you.

The Wiz is on stage for a couple of weekends at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans.

Wild Bill asks Ronnie Taylor Jr.  to belt out the roar that got him the role as the Cowardly Lion.

"ROAR!" Ronnie fills up the entire theater.

Wild Bill says, "no wonder you got it."

The cast comes from the school's drama club, The Key Club as it's called and Ben Franklin High School's Black Culture Club.

Brandon Irvin, Jr. plays the Tin Man.

Brandon says, "as a Black kid, I had to step up and into the role because I wanted to show my culture.

With so much talent traveling to the Emerald City in this production of The Wiz, they have cast not one but two Dorothys.

Issis Haydel and Karrie Short got the parts.

And those same girls also play Glenda the Good Witch.  That's two Glendas.

The school sees this show as really the way to go.  That's why at rehearsal one morning, the principal was actually playing piano.

His name is Patrick Widhalm.

He says, "the African-American kids you'll see on stage, the singing, the dancing, the choreography, the acting, it's amazing and it will blow your socks off.

These kids are off to see the Wizard.

The Wonderful Wiz of Oz.

If you'd like to be in the audience, for tickets, just click right here.


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